Character Interview: Felix

Posted: December 26, 2017 in Character Interviews W/ Travis

I would have posted this yesterday, but I honestly didn’t get around to it (or shading/highlights for book 6, for that matter). Hope everyone that celebrates it had a good Christmas (and that those who don’t had a good day, period).

Anyway, today’s interview is with Assaph Mehr’s detective character Felix the Fox.

Well, this was a new experience for Travis, in terms of interview venues. He’d had to ask Spencer to teleport him to a civilization that was around WAY before either of them were conceived, and the city itself was built into the side of a volcano. They’d come close to the top of it, and it took all both of them had not to make some comment about tossing a cursed ring into it…


No, they were at the top of this thing for the sake of an interview, and Travis honestly hoped he wouldn’t be too irked about the climb. Spencer would sit in on this one, partly to keep Travis out of trouble, and partly to rest from the teleportation spell. They’d have met him in the city itself, but they would have stood out a bit too much, what with Spencer’s glasses, Travis’ tail and feet with opposable toes, and the fact that both of them were wearing pants and made absolutely no effort to disguise the fact that they were not, in fact, of that time period or location. The main thing keeping either of them from checking their phones was that they were already set to be bizarre enough as it was.


After a while, the two could see a figure making their way up to their location, Travis trying to get a good look.


“I think that’s him…” he murmured, tail twitching a bit.


Pushing some of his immensely-long hair back, he watched as the figure got there.


“Hey!” he called. “You Felix, by any chance? My name’s Travis, the skinny dude with me is Spencer…I think we might’ve spoken, like, once before?”


Salvete,” said the man. “If I wasn’t warned about your appearance, I would be running very fast back down the mountain.” The man, Felix, was in his thirties, with dark wavy hair and dark eyes. He was wearing a light tunic, sweating from the effort of climbing the mountain in the summer’s heat.


“My scribe told me you would like to interview me, prior to the publication of the next scroll of my adventure on his world.”


Travis nodded. “Yeah, if you’re up for it…”


“Would he have made his way up here if he weren’t?” Spencer asked.


“…Point made. Anyway, first question…” the half-monkey began, tapping his fingers on his upper arm. “What made you want to become a detective?”


“It seemed like a good career option at the time. Better than a gladiator or a beggar, that’s for sure,” said Felix. “I was accepted to the Collegium Incantatorum, but couldn’t complete my studies due to lack of money. I tried the legion, and found out I was not soldier material. Then, quite by accident — actually, funny story this, but maybe later — I ran into two famous detectives. I apprenticed with them, and then started my own business, specialising in the, shall we say, occult cases. Bringing all my experience to bear, as it were.”


“So, like, you were originally looking to study magic?” the half-monkey asked. “How do spells and incantations and all that work here? I’ve seen it in action back where Spence and I are from, but…hey, Spence, would you say it varies?”


Pushing up his glasses, Spencer nodded. “Depending on location and era in history, I would think so.”


And since he was curious about this, himself, Spencer pulled out a notepad and pen. He wanted to have this knowledge somewhere, after all.


“As I understand it, the world of my scribe Assaph doesn’t have the magia floating through it. Here we do. It’s everywhere. Philosophers argue about its origins, but we learnt to manipulate it. It is one of the colleges that make our city great. We teach philosophy, engineering, art, magic. We have the great library and teaching colleges in the world.”

“So…about your scribe. He one of those sadistic ones you find out there?” Travis asked. “Because if so, I totally get that. Got one myself…I guess the main question here would be, if you were to meet your author–erm, scribe–face to face, what would you say to him first?”


“Where’s my money? The mentula promised me payments and royalties for my memoirs, but hasn’t paid a rotten sestertius yet!”


The half-monkey cringed at that. “I DEFINITELY get that,” he said. “Tried asking mine that once…and that’s how I learned how long it takes me to heal from a hacked-off limb. That was a nasty few days…Umm…ANYWAY, uh..what is it you tend to do in your spare time?”


“Oh,the usual. Watch the chariot races at the circus, or the occasional gladiatorial fight. Share a cup of wine with old army buddies. Go to the Forum to pick up on the latest gossip and court cases, and maybe pick up a new client. I read too, in quiet evenings.”


Travis’ tail flicked, as he looked at Spencer, who would explain the difference between this era’s type of circus and the type Travis looked like he’d escaped from later. Tail twitching, the half-monkey thought on his next question.


“What would you say has been the most dangerous job you’ve had so far?” he asked.


“In my latest case I was nearly mummified alive, or close enough to it. A rather deranged incantator decided to explore the boundaries between life and death, and I happened to be a handy test subject. I very narrowly escaped that fate.”


Both Travis and Spencer cringed at that. “Dude…I’ve been a test subject way too often, myself,” Travis said. “Glad you were able to get out of that… Next one, next one…is there anything you regret in life?”

“Too many things to mention here. Learnt to go on, though, and look forward rather than be haunted by the past.”


“Good way to go about it,” Travis replied.


“The only way. Besides, my scribe says my past will be published at a later volume, to keep the fans engaged. If only that translated into sales…”


“Oh, I definitely hear that,” he said with a slight chuckle. “So…is there anything that scares you?”


“Plenty of things. Fear is a rational response to danger. It’s what you do about it that counts. And that’s usually what my clients hire me for — faced with circumstances beyond their ken, they come to me to resolve them. Well, that, plus usually they want it done on the hush, away from the official authorities.”


“So…y’know, running in without hesitation is probably not the right response to danger,” Spencer said, looking right at Travis.


“Healing factor, dude. Alrighty, one last question…” Travis said, tail twitching again. “Do you have any advice for the readers?”


“Advice? To readers? Hmm… Study hard and avoid the funny mushrooms? Appreciate scribes, and pay them well for their scrolls? Don’t piss against the wind? Never practice magic when you’re drunk? Really, it all depends on the circumstances… Maybe the one my father used to say, ‘never leave a pretty woman spitting at your back’ would serve them well.”


He wrote this down in the notepad Spencer was using, pausing to shiver at Spencer’s handwriting.


“Thanks for meeting with us,” he said, flashing a grin.


“It was my pleasure. Valete et curate!


Travis and Spencer could Felix mumbling to himself, as he turned to walk down the mountain. Something about “All this hiking up and down for hours better work, or that cacator is never getting me to another interview.”

You can read more about Felix in “Murder In Absentia”.


Book Blurb

A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.


Enter Felix the Fox, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.


Murder in absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.


This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.

Extra Short Blurb

A senator’s son is found dead, in what looks like a cult ritual murder. His father wants to have a resolution, but at the same time to keep it away from the public eye. Enter Felix the Fox: neither a traditional detective nor a competent magician – but something in between.

This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – for lovers of Murder Mysteries, Ancient Rome and Urban Fantasy.


“Hardcore Historical Fantasy – Felix the Fox is Sherlock Holmes in Ancient Times”
— Jonathan Maas, author of City of Gods – Hellenica

“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike.”

— Ruth Downie, author of the Medicus series of Roman mysteries
“Mehr is a master alchemist, blending the real and surreal on a captivating flight of fantasy.”
— Cynthia Celmer



Top Reviews

“Hardcore Historical Fantasy – Felix the Fox is Sherlock Holmes in Ancient Times”

— Jonathan Maas, author of City of Gods – Hellenica


“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike. In Egretia, magic is real and potentially deadly. While rival incantatores have been banned from calling up competing winds to speed ferries across the bay – they’ve drowned too many innocent sailors – the powers of magic appear to have fallen into malevolent hands. Failed incantator Felix the Fox is investigating a mysterious death in a growing atmosphere of menace. I can’t help thinking the idea of Death by Magic might be closer to the mindset of some of the ancient world than our modern rationality.”

— Ruth Downie, Author of the Medicus Roman mysteries series


“Mehr is a master alchemist, blending the real and surreal on a captivating flight of fantasy.”

— Cynthia Celmer


“This book gave me a ‘book-hangover’ – I could not get my head out of the world of Felix for days after finishing it! I hope that there will be more stories coming, of Felix’s past and future. I like authors that create real human characters”

— R.M., Israel


“Finished Murder In Absentia twice now. A truly remarkable story which draws you in and makes it so you never want to leave.”

— Fuchsia Carter, UK


“For a history buff like me, it was the perfect blend of historical trivia and good old-fashioned murder mystery. A sheer delight to read.”

— W. Klijn., Australia



Virtual FantasyCon 2016

  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Book
  • 1st place – Favourite Dark Fantasy Author
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Book
  • 2nd place – Favourite Urban Fantasy Author
  • 3rd place – Favourite Fantasy Series


1st place – Indie Books Worth The Read (

Author Bio


Assaph has been a bibliophile since he learnt to read at the age of five, and a Romanophile ever since he first got his hands on Asterix, way back in elementary school. This exacerbated when his parents took him on a trip to Rome and Italy – he whinged horribly when they dragged him to “yet another church with baby angels on the ceiling”, yet was happy to skip all day around ancient ruins and museums for Etruscan art.

He has since been feeding his addiction for books with stories of mystery and fantasy of all kinds. A few years ago he randomly picked a copy of a Lindsay Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco novel in a used book fair, and fell in love with Rome all over again, this time from the view-point of a cynical adult. His main influences in writing are Steven Saylor, Lindsey Davis, Barry Hughart and Boris Akunin.

Assaph now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, kids, cats, and – this being Australia – assorted spiders. By day he is a software product manager, bridging the gap between developers and users, and by night he’s writing – he seems to do his best writing after midnight.

Alternative Bio

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, and had to yell at the librarian that he can read already so he should get his own card. With a rather diverse taste in reading – from fantasy to philosophy, from ancient times to the far future – his first novel Murder In Absentia is an “historically-themed urban high-fantasy hardboiled murder mystery, with just a dash of horror”.


After years of reading and only dreaming of seeing his name in print, he suddenly started writing in 2015. He owes this to his wife, who complained that there was nothing good left to read. Once the challenge was accepted and Murder In Absentia was born, Assaph just kept on writing – short stories, flash fiction, and now a second full length novel. You can find them all on


When he’s not busy mashing up genres or interviewing other author’s characters on, this ex-Israeli-turned-Aussie enjoys – in no particular order – his kids, cats, wife and even his day job. He hopes that his thirty years of martial arts make his fight scenes realistic, and that his love of history shines through his work.

Super-short bio

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.

Media links


Author Blog:

Character Interview Blog:


Twitter: @assaphmehr


Google Plus:



Amazon Author Page:

Murder In Absentia on Amazon:

From the Author

Murder In Absentia is the story I always wanted to read. I have been in love with ancient history, and in particular Rome, since I first laid eyes on Asterix. Growing up in Israel, a country steeped in millennia of human history, and playing D&D just helped cement that love.

As a kid, I was a voracious reader. I borrowed my sister’s library card when the librarian said I was too young for the Sci-Fi & Fantasy section. I grew up on all the classics, reading and rereading them as I matured. Along with sci-fi and fantasy, I loved mysteries and thrillers – Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Alistair MacLean to name just a few.

So when it came time to write, I had it all in my head – all jumbled together. I sub-titled Murder In Absentia as “a story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic”, as it draws elements of ancient Rome, Fantasy and Mystery. It’s also a bit shorter than “an historically-themed urban high-fantasy noir detective mystery (with a splash of horror)”.

If you like any two out of the three (Rome, Fantasy, and Mystery), give Murder In Absentia a shot. I trust you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.


Videas Lumen!


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